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  1. #11
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    Workbooks are a great way to ease yourself into the homeschooling process, so your instincts are probably leading you well. The farther you go into the journey the more comfortable you'll feel "branching out" a bit. If workbooks get excessively tedious there are some terrific online curriculum, like Time4Learning, that only have month-to-month contracts and you have access to multimedia lessons in multiple subjects. It's kind of like "worksheets on steroids" because in addition to doing the practice work, they are actually being taught the concepts as well. It's a great curriculum for first-timers or someone, like you, who's starting mid-year. Plus, like you say, if you can get involved in outside activities, that's certainly the ideal supplement. A mix of home-based work, outside exploration/activity, and community classes makes for a nice well-rounded homeschool experience.


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  3. #12

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    OMFSM Youre taking the kids to Europe!?
    Ditch he grammar and spelling lessons, math mastodons, and reading eggs! Start learning about where youre going, how to say fun words in the languages, learn the geography, watch videos on the places you will be going!
    Id focus on that, you will be surprised how much your kids will catch your enthusiasm for researching and learning.
    It will sell you on a more natural, organic form of homeschooling, and you can tell yourself that if it turns out to be a complete waste of time, you can do boring workbooks through the summer.
    Being a homeschool parent isnt about trying to pretend youre an institutional teacher, doling out worksheets and grading quizzes. Its something that takes a while to learn, usually.

    I do use a formal workbook curriculum for math and when mine was learning to read, not saying they are all a form of torture.

    But Europe!
    Homeschooling DS13, DS6.

    Atheist.

    My spelling was fine, then my brain left me.

  4. #13

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    AM, you mean they AREN'T a form of torture? Tech always acts like I am ripping his toenails off if I even MENTION worksheets! He's a bit melodramatic though :P

  5. #14
    Senior Member Arrived TFZ's Avatar
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    Mine likes worksheets a LOT more than I'd anticipated. I leave them in the workbook and draw a stop sign for him on the last page he's supposed to do. He's completely gaga over dot-to-dot for the last few months - that looks like worksheets to me, too, but maybe more like a coloring book for a kid who doesn't like to color.
    I'm a work-at-home mom to three, homeschool enthusiast, and avid planner fueled by lattes and Florida sunshine. My oldest is 6 and is a fircond grader (that's somewhere between first and second, naturally), my preschooler just told me she wants to learn how to read, and my toddler is a force of nature.

    I gather all kinds of secular homeschool resources and share them at TheHomeschoolResourceRoom.com.

  6. #15

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    I'd point out... don't just look for rich experiences in content subjects (history, science, etc.) that are outside the workbook. Math manipulatives, math games, grammar story books, poetry teas, reading games... there's a lot of ways to bring skill subjects to life outside of the workbook as well. And there are some programs for skill subjects that don't rely on workbooks. For example, All About Spelling is a multisensory program for learning spelling using tiles and cards and writing on a whiteboard. Right Start Math does have a workbook but the focus, especially at this age, is on learning through the abacus and other hands on materials. Both are among some of the best, most rigorous early elementary programs out there marketed to homeschoolers. And neither are grade level focused, either, meaning a mid-year start isn't an issue.

    Just to get your brain moving about this sort of stuff, you might enjoy looking at some of Peggy Kaye's books like Games for Learning. Or you might enjoy seeing Family Math, which is a book about learning math more naturally in a family context.

    It's not that a traditional curriculum doesn't have a place. And some kids learn best this way. But I see a lot of newbie homeschoolers start this way not because they've made a conscious choice, but because they can't envision starting any other way. Just to get you thinking...
    Want to read about my homeschool?
    http://farrarwilliams.wordpress.com
    Children's Books, Homeschooling and Random Musings...

    Want help homeschooling or sending kids to college?
    http://simplify4you.com/

  7. #16

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    I pull all of the worksheets out of the workbook. If they are single-sided,I will even cut the worksheet into sections. DS can be overwhelmed with the potential for work, so I only show him what I want him to see that day. That way he doesn't have to worry about what he can't see.

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How to Handle Workbooks?